Michael Keaton appears to getting in touch with his dark side. This summer, the Oscar-nominated actor re-dips his toes in the superhero genre that kick-started with career with his anticipated (and villainous) take of the Vulture in Spider-Man: Homecoming. Today, Variety reports that the one-time Caped Crusader (and Birdman) is in talks to go bad again in Disney’s forthcoming live-action reboot of Dumbo.
If talks pan out, Keaton’s casting will be significant for another key reason: it would mark the first time Keaton and Dumbo director Tim Burton collaborated on a project since 1992’s Batman Returns. Prior to that, the duo worked on both the first Batman as well as Beetlejuice – talks of a sequel to the latter have been rumored (if not exactly substantiated) for some time now. Dumbo is also expected to star Eva Green (Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children), Colin Farrell (The Lobster) and Danny DeVito (another Batman Returns alum; quick someone get in touch with Michelle Pfeiffer).
The story – based on the classic Disney animated feature – centers on outcast baby circus elephant who desires to persevere in the face of adversity. If talks pan out, Keaton would portray the bad guy who seeks to acquire the circus in attempts to exploit both Dumbo and his mother. Ehren Kruger (Ghost in the Shell) wrote the screenplay. Dumbo follows an aggressive attempt from the Mouse House in mining live-action reboots of their beloved animated collection. The studio has seen significant box office dollars from efforts including Cinderella, Maleficent, last spring’s The Jungle Book (an Oscar winner for Best Visual Effects) and current blockbuster Beauty and the Beast. Coming up, Disney has reboots of The Lion King, Mulan and The Little Mermaid in development.
Keaton last appeared in The Founder and starred in back-to-back Best Picture champions Birdman and Spotlight. Aside from Spider-Man: Homecoming, Keaton will also appear in the upcoming thriller American Assassin.
We will stay tuned to latest developments regarding Dumbo.